Experiences Of Art, Nature And Spirituality May Help Prevent Disease, Study Finds
Taking in the glory of nature at the top of a mountain peak, joining in a song of worship or viewing a breathtakingly beautiful piece of art are some of the experiences that fill us with awe and make us feel most alive. And according to new research, moments like this are both spiritually invigorating and good for our physical and mental health.
A University of California, Berkeley, study, published in the journal Emotion in January, suggests that the feeling of awe we may experience during encounters with art, nature and spirituality has an anti-inflammatory effect, protecting the body from chronic disease.
The researchers found a correlation between feelings of awe and lower levels of cytokines, markers that put the immune system on high alert by triggering a defensive reaction known as inflammation. While inflammation is essential to fighting infection and disease when the body is presented with a specific threat, chronically high levels of cytokines have been linked to a number of health problems, including heart disease, Alzheimer’s, depression and autoimmune conditions.
“That awe, wonder and beauty promote healthier levels of cytokines suggests that the things we do to experience these emotions -– a walk —> Read More Here